BARCELONA

Messi must take a pay cut to stay, says Barca presidential candidate Freixa

Barcelona’s talisman Lionel Messi will have to take a pay cut if he has to renew his contract at the club. One of Barcelona’s presidential candidate Toni Freixa believes that the Argentine’s £500,000-a-week salary must be reduced once his current deal expires in June 2021.

Messi threatened to leave the club after Barcelona’s humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in last year’s Champions League semi-final. La Liga and Barcelona ensured a hefty legal battle if that were to happen, and the Argentine stayed put to avoid that.

With his contract running out in the summer of 2021, the 33-year-old could not be expected to demand similar contractual terms.

Messi pay cut would help Barcelona’s financial troubles due to Covid-19

As with every other football club, the Covid-19 pandemic has hit Barcelona financially. With reduced income due to matchday tickets, the club is not raking in the expected revenue. In fact, the Blaugranes lost £238 million due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

After a no-confidence vote in October, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu and the rest of the club’s directors resigned. The Catalan club are said to be in a debt that exceeds £700 million. Freixa assures that the debt will be reduced, but only when the £1 billion wage bill at the club is relaxed. For that to happen, the club’s highest-paid player must set an example.

“With Leo we will speak calmly, face-to-face with Barcelona’s best at the horizon. To him, as to all the players who have to renew or sign, we will make an offer that, of course, will not be feasible to match the terms that he has had until now.”

– Toni Freixa talking about Messi’s pay cut to El Curubito.

Freixa elaborated that while the other presidential candidates are offering false promises of fixing an apocalypse at the club doesn’t exist, he will trim their debt down in accordance with healthy financial practices.

What next for Barcelona?

Barcelona go into the international break placed 8th on the league table. They face Atletico Madrid in La Liga on 22th November next. The Catalans have two matches in hand over the rest of the teams above them.

While Ansu Fati and Pedri have impressed, there is no one that can really replace a player like Messi. The club would want to squeeze at least 3 more seasons out of the Argentine. Agreeing on a contract with the 6-time Ballon d’Or winner won’t be easy if it’s on the terms suggested by Freixa.

The club must be careful to keep their prized asset. There is no one at the club currently capable of filling his giant boots, thus making it imperative that the club keeps Messi at Camp Nou for at least a couple more seasons.

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